The Scene

Patte Rust passes out pamphlets promoting Pinocchio at the White Rock Farmers
Patte Rust passes out pamphlets promoting Pinocchio at the White Rock Farmers' Market on Sunday, Nov. 4. She will be playing the 'old puppet' in The White Rock Players' Club traditional Christmas pantomime, which runs Nov. 30 to Dec. 20 at the Coast Capital Playhouse.
— image credit: Dan Ferguson photo

Harmonious Honeywells

The Honeywell family has been synonymous with music on the Semiahmoo Peninsula – and even further afield – for decades, and that phenomenon doesn't show any signs of declining.

The music of Rice Honeywell Sr. is a regular feature at Five Corners Bistro, where Rice Honeywell Jr. and his wife, Cathy, are hosts, granddaughter Shannie Honeywell is a waitress and grandson Nate Honeywell helps out in the kitchen.

The senior Honeywell, on keyboard, is joined every Wednesday night at the bistro by Bob Storms, sax and clarinet player formerly with the 10th Avenue and Bathtub Gin jazz bands, for several sets of smooth jazz and classic ballads for couples who enjoy music from the swing and big band eras.

Rice Jr. has also been known to join the duo on harmonica for boogie and blues numbers at the venue. Reservations are recommended (604-538-5455).

On Friday nights, Rice Sr. switches to cornet as leader of Red Beans and Rice (also house band of the White Rock Traditional Jazz Society) for Dixieland-style evenings at Porter's Bistro in Langley Township's historic Murrayville district (reservations recommended, 604-530-5297).

It's an enjoyably unconventional all-ages scene drawing teens as well as senior jazz fans, and 15-year-old Ethan Honeywell (another grandson) often plays drums, while his dad Keith has also been known to fill-in on trombone.


Heart's Desire

Valerie Unruh, proprietor of Heart's Desire Jewel Art Boutique (1351 Johnston Rd.) will present a public showing of her own original art works and the photography of Mark Benson, Nov. 15 and 16, 5-9 p.m. in the main shop and the boutique's upper floor gallery.

The gallery will be open by appointment only from Nov. 20 to Jan. 15.

For more information, call 604-538-8248.


Pool Life

Former South Surrey resident, Earl Marriott Secondary grad and onetime Peace Arch News reporter/photographer Rebecca Blissett – whose band and concert shots are often featured in the Georgia Straight – will have a show of photography Nov. 15-17 at the Visual Space Gallery (2075 Alberta St., Vancouver)

Called Pool Life, it's a series focusing on outdoor public swimming pools.

Inspired by the 1968 film The Swimmer, starring Burt Lancaster, the show is an odyssey through pool culture, and a celebration of an era on the wane, in a series of typically crisp, cool images taken on film (sometimes with vintage dive cameras) in which Blissett's eye captures both the endless variety of humanity at poolside, and the private, perfect serenity of the submerged swimmer.

Not a fan of swimming herself, Blissett discovered her subject through the urging of a friend.

"I was struck by the pool scene," she says. "Everybody's crammed in together on the cement decks; there are regulars who've been using the pools for years. They're a throwback to another time."

Opening party is Nov. 15, 7-11 p.m. at the gallery. The show continues Nov. 16, 7-11 p.m. and Nov. 17, noon to 7 p.m.


Needle Doodle

Promising "a circus in a tiny space," well-known Crescent Beach multi-media artist and dance mentor Elizabeth Carefoot is presenting a new show of her work – Needle Doodle – until Jan.4 at the Amelia Douglas Gallery, Douglas College (700 Royal Ave., New Westminster).

Methods and materials in Carefoot's endlessly creative universe include acrylic painting, found objects, machine and hand-stitching, coloured pencils, inks, transfers and embellished acid etching.

"In my artwork, be it painting, fabric art or construction, elements of surprise, playfulness and personal symbolism are important," Carefoot says.

"I try to make the viewer see something in a new way and invite personal interpretation."

For more information, call 604-527-5723.


Band battle

Peninsula indie pop singer and songwriter Tommy Alto and his band Whisper! Whisper! (including White Rock's Brian Shannon, drums; Surrey's Paul Engel, vocals and bass; and Moose Jaw's Ben Klassen, vocals and guitar) will be among 12 contenders in Vancouver's Band Fight battle of the bands contest, running until Nov. 28, with 8 p.m. Wednesday night performances at Vancouver's Library Square Public House.

Alto and Whisper! Whisper! are scheduled to perform Nov. 21. Also up the same evening will be Surrey-based band Cry of Silence.

Judging the contest will be a music industry panel from co-sponsors Amp Records, The Georgia Straight and 99.3 The Fox.

Response from the public will also be important in determining the winner, and judges will note the bands able to draw the most supporters. The winner will receive one song professionally produced by Amp, with radio exposure and a feature article.

The top-four finalists will also receive individual consultations on marketing themselves from Amp producers.

For more information, visit www.amprecordsco.com


Phantom of the Panto

Tickets are now on sale for Fraser Valley Gilbert and Sullivan Society's latest pantomime, The Phantom of the Panto (Nov. 28-Dec. 9, 7:30 p.m. performances at Surrey Arts Centre).

Following on the success of last year's Beauty and the Beast (the CTC award-winner for best musical or pantomime production) the new show is an original written by regular FVGSS performer Clive 'Hitman' Ramroop, taking a page (or two) from the famed Andrew Lloyd You-know-who musical and reworking it in broad 'panto' style.

Featured in the spoof (helmed by the winning team of producer Reginald Pillay, artistic director Mike Balser, musical director Timothy Tucker and choreographer Carol Seitz) will be Tom Cleevely (The Phantom), Chelsea Rose Tucker (Christine), Jackie Block (Meg Nolia), James Walker (Andre Jyne), Samatha Andrews (Firmin Full), Jeff Christiansen (as the dame, Carlotta Ferrari), Joni Hayden-Summerton (as principal boy Raoul), Jake Hildebrand (Joe Bouquet DeFleur), Adrian Duncan (Punchy Ferrari), Jerret Schwartz (The Skull) and Frannie Warwick (Trappe).

For ticket information, call 604-501-5566 or visit http://tickets.surrey.ca/


Semiahmoo Strings

Fans of popular local classical youth ensemble The Semiahmoo Strings – who snapped up tickets for the showing of the classic cartoon The Snowman, with original score played live by the talented young instrumentalists – can congratulate themselves. Everybody else, sadly, will have to wait for some other year to catch this unique pre-Christmas treat.

The show, which takes place Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at Earl Marriott Secondary's Wheelhouse Theatre, was sold out shortly after tickets went on sale.

Other highlights of the evening, conducted by Semiahmoo Strings founder Carla Birston, will be Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Faure's Elegy with cello soloist Michaela Yoon, Sarasate's Zigeunerweisen with violin soloist Jeffrey Liang and Strauss' immortal Blue Danube, while junior group the Demi-Semiahmoo Strings will heat up the winter chill with music from Brazil, featuring the conga drum and piano team of Samuel and Florence Hung.



White Rock Players Club's 2012 pantomime is Pinocchio, running Nov. 30 to Dec. 29 at the Coast Capital Playhouse, 1532 Johnston Rd.

Panto veteran Dave Baron's script is a new adaptation of the classic tale by Carlo Collodi, incorporating some original and intriguing elements that have been filtered out in successively de-natured versions.

Pinocchio (Michelle Gaetz) – a puppet brought to life who wants to become a real boy – must battle the evil Puppet Master and his minions Fox (Jennifer Tiles) and Cat (Elyse Raible), survive being swallowed by a whale, rescue his beloved Isabella (Melissa Paras), and even put up with Isabella's overbearing aunt, Miss Ann Thrope (Bryce Mills).

Also featured are Melanie Minty as Sophia, Nigel Watkinson as Gepetto, Ryan Elliott as the Godfather, Martin Perrin as Scagliare, Reilly Olexson and Kate Naylor as Gemini 1 and 2, and Suzanne Benson and Patte Rust as Old Puppet

Expect all of the the over-the-top humour, music and general nonsense the White Rock pantomime has been noted for over six decades, under the capable direction of Susanne de Pencier, with musical direction by Kerry O' Donovan, choreography by Lena Dabrusin, set design by Andrea Olund and costumes by Heather Maximea.

For tickets ($18, $16 seniors, students and Coast Capital members) and further information,  call 603-536-7535, visit www.whiterockplayers.ca or email wrpctix@uniserve.com


Welsh Men's Choir

The popular Vancouver Welsh Men's Choir will return to the Semiahmoo Peninsula Nov. 30 at 7:30 p.m. at White Rock Baptist Church for their show Christmas at White Rock.

Joining the full-bodied sound of the male chorus will be the Johnston Heights Secondary Senior Choir.

It's the launch of a busy Christmas season for the choir, which will take them to performances in New Westminster, Vancouver and North Vancouver.

Local fans will have another opportunity to catch their music on Dec. 11, at 8 p.m., when the choir will bring its Christmas show to Surrey Arts Centre.

Tickets ($25, $22 seniors and students) are available online at vwmc.ca or by calling 604-878-1190.

For the Surrey show tickets are available only through the Surrey Arts Centre box office, www.arts.surrey.ca or 604-501-5566.


Chamber music

New home for White Rock Chamber Music, now celebrating its 40th year on the peninsula, is Crescent Gardens Retirement Community (1222 King George Blvd.).

The next event, Dec. 8, features 10 young singers, speakers and instrumentalists presenting A Child's Christmas in Wales, based on the classic Dylan Thomas memoir.

Concerts are scheduled on the second Saturday of each month, from November until May, and each runs from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Admission is a suggested $5 donation to the Peninsula Arts Foundation.


Gospel Blues Christmas

Tickets are selling fast for Peninsula Productions' second annual Gospel and Blues Christmas Show featuring incomparable keyboardist/vocalist/multi-instrumentalist John Lee Sanders, his five-piece band, featuring phenomenal vocalist Sibel Thrasher, and special guest zydeco blues fiddler Gary Comeau.

The show is on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at First United Church, White Rock.

Tickets ($25 advance, $30 at the door) are available from Tapestry Music or https://tickets.surrey.ca


Robinson Crusoe

The Royal Canadian Theatre Company's 2012 Christmas pantomime – founder-director Ellie King's rollicking seafaring tale, Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates – will come to Surrey Arts Centre Dec. 20 to Jan. 6.

The show offers "spectacular sparkling family fun" including King's patented brand of colourful, traditional, kid-friendly cheer-the-hero, boo-the villain adventure, with plenty of song and dance and a healthy helping of groan-worthy knockabout humour, spearheaded by obligatory panto animal Griselda the Gorilla and veteran RCTC player Alan Cedargreen as Dame Kitty Crusoe.

Well known White Rock performer Erin Coon takes the role of Robinson, with Tony DeMatteis as Captain Blight, Bob Wilson as First Mate Bruce, Tim Zhang as Second Mate Bruce, Claurien Zanoria as beauteous Princess Friday.

Regular admission is $23.95 plus box office charges, or $14.95 plus charges for children under 12.

For ticket information and bookings visit www.rctheatreco.com or www.arts.surrey.ca or call 604-501-5566.


Singers wanted

Pacific Showtime Men's Chorus, based in Ocean Park, and directed by 'Mr. O Canada' Mark Donnelly, has resumed rehearsals Monday nights at 7:30 p.m. at St. Mark's Church, 12953 20 Ave.

The small community chorus of experienced singers is currently seeking new members for all vocal ranges: lead, tenor, baritone and bass.

Offering a big sound in a variety of musical styles, Pacific Showtime has been featured at a wide range of Lower Mainland events, including show productions, concerts and private functions.

Male singers are invited to attend rehearsals to check out the group and, hopefully, join in.


Champagne Republic

Latest chapter in the rise of club favourites Champagne Republic is the release of a first single in collaboration with Raincoast Music Productions, Let's Get It On, available for free download at the band's ReverbNation page at www.champagnerepublic.com.

The emotional and soulful vocals of Emily Chambers, the funky keyboards of Phil Laessoe, the tasty guitar licks of Marty Majerski, the deep, gutsy lines of bassist Eric Lipshultz and the agile drum accents of Kevin Madden combine to create a smooth R & B, pop, soul and funk blend with a strong local connection – Majerski is a local realtor and Lipschultz is a graduate of Semiahmoo Secondary's award-winning band program.






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